PEORIA — St. Joseph-Ogden senior guard Chase Patton wasn't in awe of his surroundings this weekend at the Class 2A boys basketball state tournament at Carver Arena.
That's because he's been to much larger venues through his father's job.
Chad Patton is a World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) referee who travels the world with some big-name wrestling personalities. Chase sometimes tags along and hangs with wrestlers such as The Rock, John Cena and The Undertaker.
"My dad every Monday travels all around the world," Patton said. "The show is in front of thousands of fans. It's an interesting job, not a job you see around my area very often. I'm not a big fan, but I do enjoy going because you get to hang out with the wrestlers. You don't get that opportunity very often."
With dad in the stands, the 6-foot-3 Patton scored five points in Friday's loss to Harrisburg and seven in Saturday's third-place game loss to Winnebago. Still, the Spartans' fourth-place finish was a school-best.
"People talk about wrestling the most to me, but not at this time of the year because of basketball," he said. "Wrestling gets brought up quite a bit, though."
Happy for home: Seton coach Brandon Thomas expressed nearly as much excitement about his alma mater, Dallas Kimball High School, reaching the Class 4A Texas state title game as he did for his team reaching the Class 2A championship game.
Thomas played for two state title teams at Kimball, in 1996 and 1997, and said he is close friends with Kimball coach Royce Johnson and assistant coach Ryan Foppe.
Two-time defending champion Kimball lost to Rosenberg Terry on Saturday
"I'm so excited," Thomas said before Saturday's game. "Kimball basketball is like Simeon basketball. They're the premier basketball program in Texas. Both of us are the championship game together; between that and this and my wife being three months pregnant, I'm living a dream right now."
Another shooter: Tommy Michael led Carlyle to a Class A state title in 1989 and played for Illinois from 1991-94. He is currently the senior associate athletic director at Illinois.
His son, Nate Michael, scored 11 points in Friday's semifinal loss to Harrisburg before adding 10 points in the Class 2A third-place game Saturday, a 67-54 loss to Winnebago.
Michael said he would probably lose in a shooting contest against his dad.
"I'm sure right now, once my dad got warmed up, that it would be a tough contest and a great matchup, but he would probably beat me," Michael said. "He usually rebounds for me in the gym, helping me get up some shots."
Third-place games: Evan Huber drilled a jumper with 4 seconds left to lift Nokomis to a 44-42 win over Eastland in the Class 1A third-place game. Devon Wright led Nokomis (25-10) with 16 points, while Eastland junior guard Dalton Shaner scored a game-high 29.
Winnebago topped St. Joseph-Ogden 67-54 in the Class 2A third-place game. The Indians (33-1) received 17 points from Dalton Menke and 13 from Matt Reinke.